The "Freedom to look" Project brings discussion on HIV/AIDS to a prison unit in the Federal District

Brasilia, 5 December, 2014 - As part of the actions performed on 1 December to celebrate World AIDS Day, the Representative of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Rafael Franzini, and the Programme Officer for HIV/AIDS at UNODC, Nara Santos, attended the last workshop of the Freedom to Look Project, which was started on 10 November at the Provisional Detention Center (CDP) in Brasilia.

During the workshop, an important discussion on HIV/AIDS inside prisons was promoted. When asked if they had information on HIV/AIDS one of the inmates replied "I have never had access to information on HIV and AIDS." Others reported having only basic information obtained mostly through television programs.

Another important issue raised during the discussion was about the distribution and use of condoms in prisons. "Condoms are available in the prison, but we just pick it up to play. No one uses condoms here," said one of the inmates.

Finally, another relevant subject pointed out was the distribution of tests, PEP Kits and cocktail for HIV carriers. Fortunately, the interns' testimonies on these topics were very positive. All inmates who have already had any contact with virus carriers in the prison system said that the distribution of the cocktail is effective in prison. In addition, those who have experienced virus transmission risk situations inside the prison were promptly attended by health professionals and had access to PEP Kits.

Despite the effective distribution of medication and condoms in the prison unit, these statements show that there is still great disinformation about HIV/AIDS. That is why projects such as "Freedom to look" that leads to the discussion of daily life in prisons, information and awareness of human rights with a focus on health, violence and gender are so important.

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